British Columbia

Please note the following is a summary of information from associated government websites. It is meant as a guide to assist in placing election oriented advertising campaigns. It is for reference only as is not an official interpretation of the governing legislation. The official documents and legal counsel should be consulted to ensure accuracy.

Governed by Elections BC, Elections Act

Definition of election advertising

  • Election advertising is the transmission, by any means, of an advertising message to the public that:
    • Is transmitted during the period that begins 60 days before a campaign period and ends at the close of general voting for the election
    • Promotes or opposes, directly or indirectly, a registered political party or the election of a candidate. This includes taking a position on an issue with which a candidate or registered political party is associated.
  • Election advertising includes signs, posters, leaflets, billboards, brochures, and advertisements in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and on television, radio and the internet.
  • During a campaign period, the 100 metres surrounding the building where a District Electoral Office is located is a restricted area. Individuals and organizations must not post, display or disseminate in the following areas:
    • any election advertising, or
    • any material that identifies a candidate, registered political party or registered constituency association, unless authorized by the District Electoral Officer
    • post, display, disseminate or openly leave a representation of a ballot 
      marked for a particular candidate or registered political party
  • Election advertising must not be sponsored, or published, broadcast or transmitted to the public unless it:
    • Identifies the name of the sponsor, jurisdiction, riding, election date
    • In the case of a candidate, identifies the name of their financial agent or the financial agent of their registered political party
    • In the case of a numbered corporation or unincorporated organization, identifies the name of the organization and the name of a principal officer
    • States that it was authorized by the identified sponsor or financial agent
    • Gives a British Columbia telephone number or mailing address where the sponsor or financial agent can be contacted
    • In the case of a third party advertiser, indicates that they are registered under the Election Act
    • Specific to BC Transit and TransLink vehicles and property, election advertising is now accepted
  • Election Advertising Rates
    • Registered political parties, registered constituency associations and candidates must be charged equivalent rates for equivalent election advertising.
    • Specifically, an individual or organization cannot charge these clients more for election advertising than the lowest rate it charged for equivalent advertising in the same medium during the same campaign period.
    • This restriction applies to election advertising sponsored by registered political parties, registered constituency associations and candidates. Third party advertising sponsors may be charged any rate for election advertising.
  • Election advertising on General Voting Day
    • On General Voting Day, election advertising must not be published, transmitted or broadcast in an electoral district until the close of all voting stations in the electoral district. Voting stations close at 8 p.m. (Pacific Time), unless the District Electoral Officer extends the time for voting.

For detailed information, visit:

Amendments current as of 2012
Date of COMMB update: January 2017


Governed by Vancouver Street & Traffic By-law 2849 

Advertising on voting day

  • Partisan election advertising is not allowed on general voting day. Candidates who do place election advertising on general voting day and any media that accept such advertising, could face a fine of up to $5,000 and up to one year in prison.
  • Does not apply to the City of Vancouver’s Election Office, which advocates for the voting process, not particular candidates or political parties.

For more information, visit:

Amendments current as of July 2016
Date of COMMB update: January 2017